Mary Hearty

Traditional plants play a huge role in health systems globally as they help in treating diseases and maintaining good health and conditions.

There is increasing evidence of use of medicinal plants for treatment of variety of skin conditions across the world. This is due to increased resistance to several synthetic drugs by microbes causing skin conditions; availability and accessibility; safety issues and costs.

A research on traditional plants conducted by Gaymary George Bakari with funding from the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), indicated the effectiveness of these plants on skin conditions including fungal infections and acute chronic wounds.

The study which focused on Commiphora swynnertonii resin indicated that it contains a diversity of chemical compounds that are responsible for different therapeutic effects on various ailments.

“Products formulated from the resin of this plant have been tested under different conditions and has been shown to be effective on treatment of all kinds of wounds, fungal infections and other skin conditions,” Bakari explained in the research report.

The formulated products derived from this plant include wound spray, gel for treatment of fresh wounds, hand sanitizers, dermatological cream, lotion bar soap and mouth wash for cleansing the mouth.

According to the research, these formulations are safe, affordable and effective, with no residual effects on the user. For instance, an experiment done on rats showed that there was faster and effective healing with no adverse effects on them.

The wound product from the Commiphora swynnertonii resin used reduced their wound size from 10mm to 0 in diameter by day 10 of treatment. Furthermore, the same products were observed to be effective in wounds which had persisted without healing for years, showing good response within 7 to 10 days of treatment in humans.

Following this study, new protocols for formulation and validation of medicinal plants products have been developed and documented.

The research personnel are also encouraged to involve communities to support the propagation and conservation of these plants to ensure sustainable availability of the resin raw material.

There is also need for collaboration with different sectors like pharmaceutical researchers, regulatory bodies in order to reduce cost and facilitate production of products from medicinal plant.